One of the primary motivations of exhaustive determinism is the fact that determinists resent being responsible human beings. They rankle at the idea that they are not totally dependent on God, while God is totally independent of them. They find that distressing and frightening.
In this respect, exhaustive determinism is motivated by the same resentment as men and women who begrudge the fact that God made them responsible, free human beings. So they rebel by undergoing "human reassignment" surgery. They can't stand the fact that they are responsible, free human beings -- that God determined their responsible, free, human identity -- and everything that goes with it. They hate being responsible, free human beings.
So they strive to recreate themselves. Flout nature. Pursue their "target humanity," viz. H2C (Human to Creature). Be God's little robots -- in their grand little Frankenstein costume drama.
By contrast, Arminians are content with the niche that God assigned them. We are what God made us, as we rejoice in the distinctive experience of being human (i.e. not robots) -- with all its dimensions and limitations. We don't war against our responsible nature. Rather, we celebrate God's design for humanity.
I take it that this is supposed to represent Birch’s effort to be clever. But the danger with trying to be clever is that, unless you succeed, the exercise backfires.
1.The primary problem with Birch’s analogy is that it’s crucially disanalogous. For Calvinists make no attempt to evade moral responsibility for their actions. To the contrary, Calvinism accentuates the moral responsibility of human agents.
Birch’s comparison would only work for a hard incompatibilist like Pereboom.
2.Moreover, it’s a very telling reflection on Birch’s Arminian piety that he would mock the idea that human beings are totally dependent on God.
3.Furthermore, to say that Calvinists long to be “robots” is imputing an Arminian characterization of Calvinism to Calvinists. That’s hardly an accurate characterization of how Calvinists view Calvinism. As such, that’s hardly an accurate sentiment to attribute to Calvinists.
4.Finally, Arminians are not content to be whatever God has made them to be. Rather, Arminians have a stipulative definition of what human nature ought to be like. Indeed, Birch tips his hand with the business about “robots” in a Frankenstein experiment.
In fact, Birch’s contemptuous remark about “God’s little robots” is the way in which a militant atheist like Christopher Hitchens expresses his disdain for the sovereignty of God:
Friel: “What if God exists, and what if he has provided everything for you… life, health, food, trees, royalties… would he not have been good to you?”
Hitchens: “No. If that were true, I would have an eternal supervising parent who would never let me get on with my life, never let me grow up, and constantly be asking me to thank and praise him. It would be like living in North Korea and having to continuously praise the ‘Dear Leader.’ I think it’s servile.”
Friel: “If God created you and provides everything for you, does he have rights on your life?”
Hitchens: “No. I don’t accept anyone’s right to own me. I created my children and provide for them, but I don’t own them. Besides, would this mean that the sick and starving for whom God has not provided are not owned by God?”
Friel: “Um… next question… does religion really poison everything?”
Hitchens: “Yes. If I am someone’s slave, that ruins everything. The Bible calls for slavery and genocide, too, but that doesn’t make it right.”
Friel: “So if God saw you committing all these sins, would he send you to heaven or hell?”
Hitchens: “Not heaven, I hope. An eternity of praise and groveling and thanksgiving would be my idea of hell.”
Friel: “What if it’s true that Jesus died on a cross to save your sins? Isn’t that the ultimate act of kindness?”
Hitchens: “No. I didn’t ask for a human sacrifice and don’t want it. I would’ve tried to stop it. It’s barbaric. I don’t want anybody to immolate themself for me. And I’m not bound by it. It’s an act of extreme presumption to say that ‘What I’m doing now binds millions of unborn children and takes away their freedom.’ It’s a tyrannical act.”
Friel: “Is it possible the reason you rage against God is that you want to live your own autonomous life?”
Hitchens: “That’s highly probable, yes.”